Connect with us


Kobbie Mainoo reveals what Gareth Southgate told him after “wrong-footing” England call-up & explains EURO 2024 ambitions



| Last Updated:


Manchester United midfielder Kobbie Mainoo has explained what England manager Gareth Southgate has told him after his “wrong-footing” call-up to the senior side.

On Tuesday morning, it was confirmed that Mainoo would be promoted from England’s Under-21s squad for the international break into Southgate’s unit.

The teenager has been excellent for United this season and provided yet another standout performance against Liverpool on Sunday in the FA Cup.

Southgate had originally calmed expectations of a senior call-up for Mainoo, describing the current situation as too early for the youngster before seemingly changing his mind days later.

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live, Kobbie laughed when the reporter suggested that Southgate “wrong-footed” the public with his comments.

When asked to explain what the England boss had told him, Mainoo said, “Yeah, he’s been really good and really welcoming. He’s making me feel comfortable here.

“He’s been telling me what my role would be if I was to play and things like that, so it’s been good.”

The 18-year-old will be in contention to make his debut for the Three Lions in the coming week against either Brazil or Belgium. This time last year, he was on the fringes of Erik ten Hag’s side and had made two appearances for his childhood club.

“I mean, last year, I was on the bench, waiting for my time to get my chance and around November I got my first start, and since then everything’s gone so fast with so many games. I’ve enjoyed it so much,” explained Mainoo.

His quality on the pitch has been a joy to watch for United supporters this term, but his maturity has been another aspect that has shocked so many.

Asked whether he was thinking about an England call-up, Mainoo demonstrated that level-headedness once again. “The games have been coming so fast, I haven’t really been able to think about it,” he added. “I knew the international break was coming up, but we had so many big games, I couldn’t take my eye off the ball.”

Finally, Mainoo addressed his aims to get into Southgate’s final squad for the European Championships this summer. However, again, the teenager stressed that he will be focusing on his club form for United instead of getting ahead of himself.

“That’s the end goal for the season, to get into that squad,” concluded Mainoo. “I’ve got to focus on club football in the meantime, and hopefully that will all figure itself out.”